Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reflections on Raising the Ruins

We will get back to the biographical sketch later, but right now I wish to share some of my thoughts concerning Stephen Flurry's book, Raising the Ruins. Now anyone deciding to get in contact with this book needs to be aware of of its flaws, such as claiming PCG won the court case with WCG when in reality they lost and than bought the copyrights for $3 million, and the hypocritical attitude it was produced in, namely, trying to lure sympathizers of Armstrongism into PCG while PCG forbids members from contacting such people. Critiques of it are available at Exit and Support Network and PCG Information.

I read some of this book length recruitment pamphlet. Although I was aware of some of the concerning facts about the book I must say I am honestly surprised at my impression of the book. I am not entirely sure what I was expecting, but I did not expect to reach this conclusion when I started reading. The main thought I had of reading it is this: the author, Stephen Flurry, is not very bright. Exit and Support Network has this fascinating story in which Stephen Flurry 'could not open email attachments or operate a fax machine' and so he relied on some poor old man to do it for him. I am embarrassed to say that after reading this book I can actually imagine that situation occurring even better than before. I honestly thought I would come away from the book and say, 'Sure he's in a cult that bans medicine, woman's makeup, and contact with 'Laodiceans' no matter how close they are to you and also demands you pay over 30% of your money in a PCG approved way, but he's a clever guy.' Instead I am inclined to think, 'He is not very bright. Any intelligence he does possess I do not see in this book. How can PCG entrust the education of their students to him?' Let me try to explain why I feel this way.

In much of Chapter One he complains that Tkach has complete power in WCG. He is so adamant about this that one who does not know better might think that PCG is not authoritarian but democratic. Of course PCG has exactly the same authoritarian undemocratic government as WCG has. The only reason Stephen Flurry is angry against WCG is that they used their absolute power to renounce Armstrongism, he simply wishes they used their power to enforce Armstrongism. He wishes that he could wield the club they used. In one place he writes, 'He [Feazell-one of the leaders of the Tkach changes] knows--he's admitting--that without total power, their transformation would have never happened! The church membership simply would not have allowed it!' But in Stephen Flurry's church members are absolutely powerless to influence the affairs of PCG. PCG has exactly the same sort of despotism that SF complains against. The only difference is WCG renounced Armstrongism, SF wishes he had their power to enforce Armstrongism. SF does not hate the club, he wishes to uses in his own way.

In Chapter Two he glorifies Ambassador Auditorium and tells us how it was so beautiful, it had so many good performers on it. He tries to induce nostalgia in readers so that they might join his church. I hope readers will not fall for that. After trying to induce nostalgia he ends that thought with the following sentence: 'Yet another legacy that was neither heavy nor burdensome.' Is this accurate? That jolly building cost $24 million! In the early 1970s! If he really thinks Ambassador Auditorium wasn't burdensome he should read what Ambassador Report had to say about it. He should read their article on the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation. The inaugural concert alone cost WCG $500,000! In the 1970s! In reality Ambassador Auditorium was a huge burden to bear, and it was only used to make HWA look more respectable in the eyes of the world leaders he wanted to impress. Now I know how PCG can embark on its ridiculous plan to construct the $15 million Armstrong Auditorium. He thinks it won't be burdensome! We will see how long he continues to think that. Is he not aware that projects of that sort almost always cost much more then expected? I am not impressed with his analytical skills in regards to how burdensome(less) Ambassador Auditorium was.

In Chapter Two he says Reagan endorsed HWA. He compares Tkach, Jr.'s apologies on HWA. In response SF says, 'President Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, said we should take pride in Herbert Armstrong's legacy. I'm going with President Reagan's endorsement.' But he was a member of the Disciples of Christ, a church that keeps Sunday, so (according to Armstrongite theology) he bears the Mark of the Beast! How can such a man endorse HWA? Would President Reagan have endorsed him if HWA said to him, 'You have the Mark of the Beast upon you!' a statement that would have been perfectly honest in Armstrongite theology? The truth is HWA presented one face to world leaders and another to his hapless and eternally abused flock. (Addition: Reagan's statements were made on the occasion of HWA's death. It was just a courtesy and therefore should not be used to promote Armstrongism as it is quite clear that Reagan never accepted Armstrongism in the slightest. Yet such facts do not stop PCG from deceitfully using that statement for their recruitment, such as in this ad here.)

Also I find it annoying how he speaks in Chapter One against calling conversion to Armstrongism spiritual rape. Only for an Armstrongite is that understandable. He gives no acknowledgment here to the fact that that expression is used by many former Armstrongites, not just Tkach. Maybe he will discover why it's called spiritual rape if he just read some XCOG web sites out there. Though perhaps I hope too much.

Anyway those are my thoughts from what I have read of that book. I am honestly surprised at the many times I was amazed by what was lacking in the book. I hope those looking for the truth will not be fooled by this book. May the Lord save those that PCG are trying to ensnare.

More on Raising the Ruins may be read here.


  1. Wasn't that "endorsement" by President Reagan in the form of a statement released when Mr. Armstrong died? It was more of a courtesy sign of respect, that a promotional announcement for Mystery of the Ages.

    To be fair, I haven't read Stephen Flurry's book. I keep waiting for PCG to offer it free, instead of buying it in a store or reading it piecemeal in The Trumpet. After all, isn't that what "buying the truth and selling it not" all about?!?!

  2. You are right. Reagan's statements were made on the occasion of HWA's death. It was just a courtesy and therefore should not be used to promote Armstrongism as it is quite clear that Reagan never accepted Armstrongism in the slightest. Yet such facts do not stop PCG from deceitfully using that statement, such as in this ad here.

  3. Correct redfox, this was printed in the AR 35 where we read:
    "The Worldwide News of Feb. 10, devoted entirely to HWA, contained letters of condolence from many leaders including President and Mrs. Reagan, California Attorney General John Van de Kamp, United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, Peter Tarnoff of the World Affairs Council, Otto von Habsburg, Leopold de Rothschild, Edmund Rothschild, and numerous leaders of the state of Israel. (It appears that HWA's old friends Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were unable to send their condolences. We suspect they were preoccupied with other problems.) We understand that the special Feb. 10 issue of The Worldwide News is being made available free to the general public. The address to write to is The Worldwide News, P.O. Box 111, Pasadena, CA 91129."

  4. Interesting that SF would glorify the Ambassador Auditorium, esp considering what a former church member wrote after visiting this overblown symbol of "the rich and famous"

    AR-19 quotes this member-"The next time you're in the WCG auditorium, go down to the bottom lobby floor where the public restrooms are. You'll find the rug is a rich kingly royal purple color; and in the exact center of the lobby is a very huge PAGAN SUNBURST woven right into the rug and having large pointed spears of light, representing TRUTH, radiating out in every direction.
    Now look close and you'll very clearly see that circling around each and every shaft of light (TRUTH) is a large spiraling serpent.... There are many more symbolic mystery things built into the campus, like the large reflecting sunburst pool of water with an OBELISK directly centered out front and cleverly disguised as a support for four... egrets. Egrets, say some Bible dictionaries, denote presence.
    Don't forget the large cement walkway pagan 'CROSS' made by the sidewalks and the lake. It is interesting to note that years ago we first learned about Babylon symbology from the WCG's copied work of Hislop's Two Babylons!!
    There is a new work out now called Babylon Mystery Religion, Ancient and Modern, by Ralph Woodrow. If you have one handy, open it to page 41 and compare the striking similarities.
    Be sure to read the whole chapter. It is time to ask yourself now just who's house and for which god is it anyway? It's a fair question, especially since scripture says that now the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as said the prophet (Acts 7:48). And the second witness of scripture says, 'God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands' (Acts 17:24)."

  5. The house of Armstrong always was and will always be the house of Satan.There is nothing pure in heart or soul having to do with that movement.

  6. You need to remember that Little Stevie has a lair as a father so that is the example he is following. Little Stevie's book is filled with so many blatant lies that it is laughable!

    Daddy Six-Pack lied about his arrest for public drunkenness, he lied about the court cases he and PCG lost, he lied about an angel giving him the book he wrote (and has changed REPEATEDLY over the last two decades—that was one deceitful lying angle of God!), he lies to his members, he lies to his cult 'college' students, and he lies to the world.

    Daddy Six-Pack is stuck in the pre-1986 mode just like Lord MerryDeath is. Both have made themselves irrelevant because of that stance. The world has changed dramatically since 1986 and yet these two worthless morons still dwell in the past, even to the point or regurgitating articles and booklets 40-60 years old! Neither one has an original idea in their alcohol fried brains!

    As for the Auditorium, it cost 11,000,000. That is the price that WCG always published in their publications and was told to the public on tours. According to one person I gave a tour to years ago (a former builder of the building) he said the building was patterned after Masonic symbols and imagery. It's box shape, the pillars, the colors, the fact it faces East towards the rising sun, the locations of rooms in the ceiling, and other things I forget.

    The Auditorium NEVER paid for it’s self. It was funded each year with up to 2 million dollars. If they had to charge the ticket prices necessary top pay for it’s self the public could never attend a concert. Church members paid for over 20 years of concerts that they never got to see! Likewise, Six Packs monument to himself will also be a drain on tithe money.